No iPhone 5 but the 4S looks pretty good

Apple fans spent the days leading up to the iPhone launch speculating which new iPhone they’d get. The answer, it turns out, is a Dual Core version of the iPhone 4 called the iPhone 4S.

The phone was introduced by Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing, who claimed that “Despite competitors trying really hard to copy the iPhone 4, they haven’t really been able to come close”, and is set to launch on 14 October.

He went on to claim that the 4S is as fast as competitive products like the Thrill, Atrix and the Inspire 4G.

The phone’s A5 chip is the same as the one found in the iPad2 and, together with its graphics processor, means that it will be able to run games like Infinity Blade 2.

Apple claims the phone boasts 8 hours 3G talk time, 6 hours of browsing, 14 hours of 2G talk time and 9 hours on Wi-Fi.

Having learned the lessons of “antennagate”, Schiller said that Apple’s “engineering system has worked really hard at advancing the state of the art… it can now intelligently switch between the two antennas between transmit and receive”.

In addition, it offers 14.4MBS download speeds and GSM and CDMA all in one phone.

The other piece of impressive hardware on the device is the new camera. The 4S comes with an 8MP camera, which Apple claims has a 60% boost over the one found on the iPhone 4, as well as a Backside illuminated sensor, capable of Capturing 73% more light than its predecessor.

It is also purported to be 30% sharper and a third faster at capturing pictures. Schiller said it will take 1.1 seconds from a cold start to take a picture on the 4S and 0.5 seconds for every photo thereafter.

After announcing this feature Schiller took a poke at the phone’s Android competitors, saying “I don’t know what Droid Bionic users need to do between pictures, maybe go get coffee.”

Schiller said that Apple has set its sights on competing with bona fide point and shoot cameras with the 4S, adding “there are many great point and shoot cameras, so it’s the one camera you really want to have with you all of the time.

Apple says the camera’s capabilities don’t end at still images either. It can reportedly capture video in 1080p HD with real-time video image stabilisation.

Perhaps the coolest new feature on the phone, though, is the built-in voice assistant app, christened Siri.

Demonstrated by Scott Forstall senior vice president of iPhone Software, Siri claims to be “Your intelligent assistant that helps you get things done just by asking.”

Users can ask Siri a multitude of questions. You could, for instance as if you need a rain coat and Siri will bring up the weather for you. The iPhone will list the type of examples you can ask Siri such as creating notes, finding stock information, looking up the weather and so on.

Siri will work in English as well as French and German. Apple stresses, however, that this is a beta product

The iPhone 4S will also be able to handle presentations and Games wirelessly through Apple’s AirPlay system.

The new iPhone, though, wasn’t the only piece of hardware demonstrated at the launch.

Updated versions of the iPod Nano were revealed. Among the new features are a series of clock faces for those who like to wear the device as a watch and also comes with the ability to track walks and runs.

The nano will cost US$129 for the 8gb version US$149 16gb version.

It was also revealed that iOS5 will be available on the iPod Touch, which Apple claims is the world’s most popular handheld gaming device.

The new range of updated iPods will drop on 12 October.

When the iPhone 4S launches, the cheapest version is set to cost around US$199.



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